Transshipment container volumes at the Port of Colombo in June took a blow from the political crisis and social unrest that prevailed in the country, which raised law and order concerns among main shipping lines.

In June, the container transshipment volumes declined by 4.5 percent Year-on-Year (YoY) to 483,070 TEUs, as the  main shipping lines moved to alternative routes avoiding Port of Colombo, as they were disturbed by political crisis and social unrest prevailed in the country.

While stressing that operations of Port of Colombo remained intact despite the mass protests and political crisis in the country with uninterrupted fuel supply, a local shipping agent noted that Main Shipping Lines temporarily opted for alternative routes avoiding Port of Colombo.

“As a result, the number of ships calling and the number of containers arriving in Colombo were affected,”
he said.

Further, July 9th events that saw the storming into the official residences and offices of the President and Prime Minister further escalated concerns on law and order among the main
shipping lines.

“The fact that protesters stormed into President’s House and Office had raised concerns of law and order in the country. As these events continued to make headlines on foreign media, it will take a little time to convince our principals as well as loading ports on the security of the country. Having said that, Port operations were not impacted by these events,” he elaborated.

During the first half of the year, the transshipment container volumes increased by one percent YoY to 2.89 million TEUs.

Several South Indian Ports including Kochi International Container Transshipment Terminal (ICTT) in Vallarpadam has seen a sizeable surge in traffic up to July.